MANILA, MARCH 25, 2013 (MANILA STANDARD) By Maricel Cruz - The love story of re-electionist senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero and actress Heart Evangelista has taken a show-business twist worthy of a telenovela.

Now, Escudero is put on the defensive, trying to protect his Heart from critics and detractors including her parents who, he said, wanted to put an end to their relationship.

Escudero on Thursday took exception to the charges made by the parents of his girlfriend that he was disrespectful to them.

I’ve been trying to keep an open mind about them but they treated us wrongfully. The way they have been treating their daughter is wrong,” Escudero said during a press conference in Naga City, where he and the rest of Team Pnoy senatorial bets were barnstorming.

“There’s only one reason for their actuations and that is, to keep us apart,” he said.

Escudero said the controversy has started to affect even his two children and his mother.

He said that his relationship with Evangelista was ‘going great’ until the controversy broke out in the media.

He also denied his alleged uncouth behavior toward Heart’s parents.

Cecile Ongpauco, mother of the actress, earlier disclosed on national television that Escudero was “disrespectful and arrogant”, and even “manipulating” her daughter into “going against the family.”

Ongpauco also appealed to Escudero “to leave my daughter alone.”

But Escudero reiterated his appeal to some quarters, including his detractors not to exploit the controversy on his love life so as not to complicate the relationship of Heart to her parents.

He said his relationship with Evangelista is “strong” and considers the real-life telenovela as a test of their bond.


The cupid speaks: What Miriam thinks of the Chiz-Heart vs. Ongpaucos By Rio Rose Ribaya | Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom – Thu, Mar 21, 2013.. . .

[Malabo na talaga ang mata ko. Pwede ba akong humingi sa iyo ng kahit konting pagtingin? (Santiago says she is Evangelista's surrogate mother. (Santiago says she is Evangelista's surrogate mother. A close family friend, Santiago tags Evangelista along during public appearances and even to a US trip. Photo from Senator Santiago's official Facebook page]

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is suffering from another heart problem.

Though it is not life-threatening, Santiago clarified she got the condition from reports that Heart Evangelista is deep in trouble due to her relationship with Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

Considering Evangelista as her daughter, Santiago played cupid last year and successfully matched the 28-year old actress with Escudero, who is 16 years older.

“I'm very heartsick because Heart was in effect, let's say my surrogate daughter. I never had a daughter you know, so I thought I could have a mother-daughter relationship with her,” Santiago said.

“And I'm very, very disappointed, in fact depressed, that things have turned out this way. So I'm just going to distance myself from her from now on,” she added.

Santiago regrets she may not be able to help Evangelista in her personal problem, considering her professional abilities do not include counseling.

The feisty senator explained she needs to stay out of the issue since she is close to Evangelista's parents Rey and Cecille Ongpauco, and to Heart's boyfriend, Escudero.

“I don't want to take sides. Basically it's a cowardly position because I'm the sort who will always take a position for or against and then stand on my position: Do or die,” Santiago said.

“But this is a very highly emotionally-charged situation, plus it will impact not only the political fortune of Chiz but even the marketability or the market appeal of Heart,” she added.

But this did not stop Santiago from giving an unsolicited advice to the actress’ family, who she described as “extremely close-knit.”

The International Criminal Court judge-in-waiting recalled how she told Evangelista’s to just let the actress decide for herself.

“I think that they should just think all of these over and maybe it's time for the family to let go of Heart because she's 28,” Santiago said.

“If she hasn't learned anything after all those series of boyfriends that the media has publicized, she'll never learn [from] it,” she added.

Santiago also advised Escudero to just court Evangelista’s parents instead of giving them more reason to file a suit against him.

She explained that proving the Ongpaucos wrong about their impressions about him could be Escudero's best move.

“Why cant he do that? That is our culture. May kasabihan tayo na ligawan mo ang mga magulang muna,” Santiago said.

“Amuin na lang niya yung mga magulang para wala nang problema. Kandidato siya, nakikipag-away siya,” she added.

Santiago, who accepted family cases while serving as judge in a trial court, said the best thing for the parties to resolve the issue by following an order of “status quo to desist.”

Citing her experience in family mediation, Santiago advised the Ongpaucos and Escudero to refrain from issuing statements that could aggravate the situation.

“The first thing to be done is that there should be no aggravation on the part of either parties. You sort of issue a status quo to desist, resume your positions as you were before this litigation,” Santiago said.

“Stop talking. Anyone who opens his mouth is going to get this from me,” she quipped.


Related story- Escudero breaks silence, defends Heart

Related story- Chiz and Heart- In-love and proud of it

Related story- Heart's parents eye charges vs. Chiz

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